tremble clef

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Popium, "Beautiful Thing" (2002)/"Perfectly Numb" (2002)

Today we're talking about Popium. You go first.

I'm in category 3 myself: as a Sox fan, I was of course obligated to watch Fever Pitch (aka The Perfect Catch). There's a lot of talk about the eternal suffering that comes with being a Sox fan, but no one warned me about having to watch Jimmy Fallon try to act. Thankfully, the film at least featured highlights of the 2004 season; also, in one scene, a lovely shimmering late night song played, the kind that the Tindersticks or Richard Hawley or Cousteau or Weeping Willows might have done. (For this, I imagine we have to thank the exquisite taste of the film's scorer: Craig Armstrong.)

The track, titled "Sooner Or Later," is instead by Popium, a five-man band from Bergen, Norway. The band has been around for a while, and have released four albums. A self-titled debut came out in 2001; this was followed by Permanently High in 2002, and Camp in 2004 (from which "Sooner Or Later" was culled). Last year saw the release of The Miniature Mile in Scandinavia (you can hear tracks from the record at the band's myspace). That looks to be getting a UK release next month, although three of the four albums are already available on US iTunes. And of course, Youtube proves useful as well, with a few videos for the band's singles. Including this one, for the ridiculously infectious "Beautiful Thing":

The song is a duet with fellow Bergen artist Christine Sandtorv, whom some of you may recognize as a member of Ephemera. It's cheerful 60s-inflected power-pop, and a lot of its charm comes from the absurd way both singers enunciate the word "beautiful" (or "beaudeeefall"). From the same album I also like the much subtler "Perfectly Numb." It's a slower track, though not as smoky as "Sooner Or Later." It reminds me a little of Lucky Soul's "My Darling Anything" or "Struck Dumb," and features castanets, which always make a track a winner in my book. With their name, the band is obviously setting me up to make references to how addictive their music is, but I'll just pretend that the word means something totally different in Norwegian and resist to the end. I'm nobody's ventriloquist's dummy!


  • So did you actually have a hit from Norway, as might be inferred from the existence of the person who voted in Category 5?

    By Anonymous esque, at 8:17 AM  

  • I think that was Bertine Zetlitz. I wish.

    No, I don't think I have any Norwegian readers, nor members of Popium reading the blog (unless they backtracked from the label site). I'm sure someone was joshing, which the poll invites you to do anyway.

    By Blogger Brittle, at 12:58 PM  

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